Monday, May 26, 2008

Like having two grandpas over for dinner.

Top-notch friends and total beer geeks Russ and Leah presented us with a bottle of Schlitz at the Beerfly Alleyfight held on May 17th. Whoo! Apparently, the new-old Schlitz can be found at The House of Glunz Fine Wine & Spirits, 1206 N Wells in Chicago.

During a recent double-brew day, we decided to not only crack into the new-old Schlitz, but to also do a little side-by-side research ala Schlitz' step-parent, Pabst.

First, we tried them both straight from the bottle. The Schlitz had a much smoother malt flavor. The hop flavor was dry and citrusy. The PBR had it's usual semi-sweet corn flavor and finished tangy compared to the Schlitz.

Second, we tried them both using a beer-tasting glass. The Schlitz head was darker, and had a slightly darker color overall. The Schlitz also had more head retention. Braving the PBR from an actual glass rendered a surprisingly pleasant mild noble hop aroma. Cool!

Overall, the Schlitz had more malt flavor and hop aroma. We agreed that the new-old Schlitz is decent beer. Sadly, it was better than my beloved PBR. I'll be okay, though. I've already been down this road with Leinenkugel's.

Remember when you started sneaking slugs from your dad's beer can when he left the porch to go out and deal with the grill? That's what the new-old Schlitz tastes like.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

What's old is new-old... again.

Pabst has decided to revive a more than 30-year old formula of Schlitz. The new-old product is packaged in bottles and promoted with a heavily nostalgic, "those were the good old days" message to Baby Boomers. (Yeah, we're going to be seeing a lot of this over the next 20 or so years, so get used to it.) Some of the adverts attempt to appeal to the Boomers at the expense of the Millennials, the electronic age, and contemporary urban life.

This is a little different then the revival of PBR. I'm not sure about the formula, but whatever version of Pabst is in those classic red/white/blue cans, tall boys, and bottles appeals nicely to the Millennials (chronologically we have: Baby Boomers, born approx 1946 to 1964 - Generation X, born approx 1964 to 1980 - Millennials, born approx 1980 to 2004). I freely admit that I drink PBR. I mean, not all the time, but I do like it when times are tight and the beer fund is running low.

Anyway, will this attempt at retro appeal work? I'm dubious of any marketing that is pointedly negative toward one demographic as a means of accessing a different one. The Millennials are the kids of the younger Boomers, after all. Scoffing at the fact that their kids instant message and know what "metrosexual" means may not motivate them to choose Schlitz. On the flip side, this could possibly be the reason PBR appeals to the 20-something set. It's the beer their mom and dad drank. Well, that and it's cheap.

We've been shopping for a 6er of the new-old Schlitz but have yet to come across any in Chicago. If and when we do, we'll do a taste test and report about it here.

Either way, Pabst should have gotten a Millennial to do the Schlitz website. The graphics don't work properly.